American College of Cardiology’s CardioSmart Initiative Honors Irene Pollin

Pollin to be recognized for pioneering efforts to promote women’s heart disease prevention

Contact: Nicole Napoli,, 202-375-6523

WASHINGTON (March 29, 2014) — Irene Pollin, founder of Sister to Sister: The Women's Heart Health Foundation, the first organization focused solely on women's heart disease detection, education and prevention, is being recognized by the American College of Cardiology’s CardioSmart Patient Initiative for her extensive contributions benefitting women with heart disease.

“Irene Pollin was ground-breaking when she established a heart disease organization focused solely on women 15 years ago,” said JoAnne Foody, M.D., FACC, CardioSmart chief medical expert and director of the Linda Joy Pollin Cardiovascular Wellness Program for Women at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. “Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, but it is still largely viewed as a man’s disease. There is so much still to be done in spreading the prevention message to women, but we are a lot closer to being successful in that endeavor thanks to Irene.”

Pollin is a psychotherapist with a Master of Social Work from Catholic University and an Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from Howard University. She is also an author and has penned two books, Medical Crisis Counseling and Taking Charge: Overcoming the Challenges of Long-Term Illness, and several articles on coping with chronic illness. She is a member of the Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition Round Table, the DHHS Office on Women’s Health’s Heart Attack Campaign Expert Panel, American Women for International Understanding and Brigham and Women’s Hospital President’s Advisory Council.

She founded Sister to Sister in 1999 to spread the message about heart disease prevention. The foundation hosts health and wellness events and cardiovascular health screenings mainly geared toward women and busy mothers who don’t always put their health first. They also maintain a database of women screened at their events, which contributes to a variety of cutting-edge women’s heart health research at several partner hospitals. Their newest program "Screen Us Where We Are" advocates for better access to heart health screening for women in the U.S.

Pollin also has a personal connection to heart disease, she and her late husband Abe Pollin, with whom she co-owned the Washington Wizards, Washington Mystics and Washington Capitals, lost two children to congenital heart disease. Pollin has since been a generous donor to various cardiovascular programs, including a $10 million donation in 2013 to the Johns Hopkins University Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease in Baltimore, a $10 million gift in 2013 to establish the Linda Joy Pollin Women’s Heart Health Program at the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center in the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles, a $10 million donation in 2012 to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem to establish the Linda Joy Pollin Cardiovascular Wellness Institute, and a $12 million donation in 2008 to establish the Linda Joy Pollin Cardiovascular Wellness Program for Women at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Pollin will be recognized March 29, during a CardioSmart reception at the Newseum in Washington. The event is being held in conjunction with the American College of Cardiology’s 63rd Annual Scientific Session.

For more information about CardioSmart, visit

For more information about Sister to Sister, visit

The ACC’s Annual Scientific Session brings together cardiologists and cardiovascular specialists from around the world each year to share the newest discoveries in treatment and prevention. Follow @ACCMediaCenter and #ACC14 for the latest news from the meeting.

The American College of Cardiology is a 47,000-member medical society that is the professional home for the entire cardiovascular care team. The mission of the College is to transform cardiovascular care and to improve heart health. The ACC leads in the formation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The College operates national registries to measure and improve care, provides professional medical education, disseminates cardiovascular research and bestows credentials upon cardiovascular specialists who meet stringent qualifications. For more information, visit

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